Svetlana Kotliarova, Ph.D.

Job Title
Program Director
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Division of Neuroscience
Cluster, Section, or Program
Neural Environment
Areas of Interest

Portfolio: Primary brain tumor (adult)  

Additional Keywords:  Immunotherapy and immunosuppression; brain tumor invasion, signaling, angiogenesis, and necrosis; glioma stem cell biology; glioblastoma

Contact Number

Dr. Svetlana Kotliarova joined NINDS in 2022 as a Program Director in the Neural Environment (NET) Cluster. She is the point person for adult brain tumor and immunotherapy activities. Predominant themes in her grant portfolio are preclinical testing, therapy resistance, glioblastoma recurrence, glioma stem cell biology, vascular/blood-brain barrier interactions, and tumor invasion. Before joining NINDS, Dr. Kotliarova was a scientific review officer at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), NIH, where she oversaw peer review of research grant applications in oncological sciences. Before that, Svetlana pursued brain tumor research in the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where she was the head of the Genomics Core. Svetlana was one of the first to demonstrate a role of GSK3 in gliomas. She was part of a team that developed and characterized patient-derived glioma stem cell model systems. Dr. Kotliarova received her Ph.D. in Health Sciences (Genetics) from the University of Tokyo, Japan, and completed postdoctoral training in the Department of Human Genetics of the University of Tokyo under a fellowship from the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS). During that time, she identified several ethnic-specific loci on the Y chromosome. Then she joined the RIKEN Brain Science Institute (BSI) as a staff scientist and studied neurodegenerative disorders. While at BSI, she developed novel transgenic models for Huntington’s Disease (HD) and discovered the degeneration of the hypothalamus in the HD mouse models. Her current research interests include adult brain tumors, glioma stem cells, gliomagenesis, molecular characterization, and the development of new therapies for brain tumors, including immunotherapies. Her research is published in Cancer Cell, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Human Molecular Genetics, and other journals. Dr. Kotliarova is passionate about mentoring young investigators, outreach activities, and promoting diversity in research.